In June of 2017, No Ordinary Women led 14 women to Nakuru, Kenya, to meet and work alongside our Artisans in Oasis Women’s Group. To say that this was a dream come true, a dreamy adventure with dear sisters, a dream within a dream…well, even all of that seems insufficient. While we could talk for ages about our adventure, what we saw God doing, how lives were transformed, we think that our incredible team can tell you better themselves. We’ll be posting once a month a story or two from someone on our team, so be sure to follow along!
I cannot even begin to put into words how this trip has affected me. It was a life-changing experience I will never forget. When we first arrived, we watched our surroundings go from a big city to a slum in a short amount of time and it broke my heart into a million pieces. Yet, the people appeared happy and carefree, especially the children. Watching them go through so many hardships in their day-to-day life, but being so joyful and happy and content with what they have fills my heart with joy. Meeting and talking to the wonderful people really changed me. No matter what their situation in life was they were always so happy and polite; it really gives me hope for the world. Everyone I came into contact with, whether it was our amazing drivers or the people who worked at our lodges, were always willing to help and became our friends. That’s what I saw within these people: friendship and kindness.
One of my happiest memories from this trip was after our team meeting at the Flamingo Lodge.
Jordan, Sophi, Avery and I met two kids (brother and sister) who had climbed the wall to talk to us. We asked them about their lives and then they sang us a song. No matter their circumstances they still had joy in their heart.
Every morning I woke up to the sounds of birds chirping. One morning, I woke up to a woman singing her heart out. She had the most amazing, soothing voice I’d ever heard. It was absolutely breathtaking. When we went to the Methodist School for church I was astounded by what I saw. Those kids had so much joy and love in their hearts and they worshiped with an intensity that I’ve never seen in a church in the United States in all my life. Our first day at Oasis will forever stick in my mind as one of my most cherished memories. When the women greeted us with their dancing and singing, it almost brought me to tears (and if you know me, I’m not much of a crier). They are some of the most astounding women. Hearing their stories and how they’ve made a better life for themselves and their children left me in awe. Our second day at Oasis was definitely an emotional one. We all got a deeper look into the lives of the women and those around us. We learned we aren’t so different after all. Our last day at Oasis was also very emotional. It was difficult leaving the people I’d grown so close to in just a matter of days. I couldn’t stop hugging everybody and the van ride back was hard for all of us.
When we went on safari, it was a mind-blowing experience. Seeing all the animals in their natural habitat, their home, filled my heart with joy. I still can’t believe I sat on top of a van driving through the African Savannah on safari.
Overall, this trip has been life-changing. I’ll never see anything the same again. I loved growing closer to all the women on this trip (and especially the kids) and most importantly growing closer to God and traveling further on my spiritual journey.
(This blog post has been edited for length and clarity.)
Olivia is 14 years old and a Freshman at Pisgah High School. An aspiring writer and photographer, Olivia is also a lover of the outdoors, coffee, and giggling in the backseat of pretty much any vehicle. Olivia Owens is a founding member of ‘The Quad’.